Serbia men’s national team gear up for World Championship qualifiers

Belgrade, Serbia, May 5, 2017. The senior men’s national team of Serbia has convened at Holiday Inn hotel in Belgrade to start their preparations for the upcoming qualifiers to the 2018 FIVB World Championship and for the 2018 edition of the FIVB World League as well. Mr Zoran Gajic, President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, was there too in order to wish the players the best of luck and much success in their endeavours with the national team.

At this stage, the list released by head coach Nikola Grbic includes the following 17 players:

Setters: Nikola Jovovic, Maksim Buculjevic

Opposite hitter: Aleksandar Blagojevic

Libero: Goran Skundric

Middle blockers: Srecko Lisinac, Nemanja Masulovic, Stevan Simic

Outside hitters: Uros Kovacevic, Marko Ivovic, Nemanja Petric, Milan Katic, Miran Kujundzic

Grbic has also invited the opposite hitters of Vojvodina NS Seme NOVI SAD and Ribnica KRALJEVO, Petar Premovic and Stefan Okosanovic, as well as libero Predrag Jevtic from Crvena Zvezda BEOGRAD, setter Nedjeljko Radovic from Vojvodina NS Seme, and outside hitter David Mehic (also a player of Vojvodina NS Seme), who are not on the official team roster.

Another nine players (Aleksa Brdjovic, Aleksandar Atanasijevic, Drazen Luburic, Nikola Rosic, Dragan Stankovic, Marko Podrascanin, Petar Krsmanovic, Aleksandar Okolic and Neven Majstorovic) will join the group after they complete the duties they still have to fulfil towards their respective clubs.

“We plan to qualify to the 2018 World Championship straight from the tournament in Croatia, at the end of this month. We do not want to complicate things. At the same time, we are preparing for the World League that starts immediately after the qualifying tournament in Zagreb. We are missing a lot of players right now due to the obligations they have with their clubs, but we will start working with guys from our national championship and a couple of international players and try to incorporate them in the system, so the continuity of the work will not be jeopardised. Brdjovic and Krsmanovic informed me that they will join us after May 12; Okolic is playing the final series in Germany, and Stankovic in Italy. On Monday, Podrascanin, Atanasijevic, Majstorovic and Rosic will join the team,” said Nikola Grbic.

“This will be a very stressful season, as we have a lot of competitions. We have a slightly changed team roster, but we will adapt to the new circumstances. We will go slowly, taking it step by step, trying to achieve our goals,” said Marko Ivovic.

“The first competition is always the most important one. It is imperative that we qualify to the World Championship, so we can have more time to relax later and prepare for the European Championship. Our ambition is to be always among the top ranked teams,” said Srecko Lisinac.

Serbia will try to claim a spot in the 2018 edition of the FIVB World Championship via the qualifier that will be taking place from May 24 to 28 in Zagreb, Croatia. The World League starts on June 2, when Serbia hosts the tournament on schedule for the first weekend of the competition.